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Trolltech GPLs Qtopia Phone Edition

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-the-cool-kids-are-doing-it dept.

Handhelds 78

Provataki writes "Trolltech has announced that they are releasing the new version of Qtopia Phone Edition under the GPL along with a port on the FIC Neo1973 smartphone. Trolltech also continues to support Greenphone as a reference platform for mobile development within the company and through its partners. Benoit Schillings, CTO of Trolltech (also of BeOS fame as one of the original Be, Inc. engineers) commented on the news."

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Time will tell (1)

jsiren (886858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650331)

The viability of these phones as a platform depends on whether they manage to attract a large enough user and developer base to have a sustainable "ecosystem" of application development. Time will tell...

Re:Time will tell (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650533)

Don't feed the trolls!

Re:Time will tell (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651461)

Sorry, I just modded your comment -1 Trolltech.

just read that a minute ago... (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650345)

because i read this article [blogspot.com] on a blog, and googled after it around to get news about it, so my question is, that polling stuff, will that be resolved, too?
or how accurate is the blogpost from zecke? (was posted on may 27 i know, dont bash me about that, its just, it is one of the first articles if you google after "qtopia for moko")

Re:just read that a minute ago... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650509)

The polling issue described in that blog is not a restriction in Qtopia, but a workaround for 2.4 kernels because inotify support is missing. The kernel from OpenMoko is a 2.6 kernel so if your toolchain is configured properly, this will be detected and you get the inotify implementation instead of the polling implementation.

Re:just read that a minute ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20654715)

Also one other thing: Slashdot summaries should adopt the habit of specifying *which* GPL somebody is adopting. The difference between GPL2 and GPL3 is significant enough to warrant that distinction, isn't it?

TrollTech adopting GPL3, now that would be breaking news...

Trolltech? (-1, Flamebait)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650361)

MS should sue these guys for trademark infringement...

Re:Trolltech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650471)

And you should be modded troll.

Re:Trolltech? (1)

z0M6 (1103593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20659379)

I think I got the joke in there.

Trolls, however, have a different meaning in Norway. (not the internet kind of trolls)

QTopia vs OpenMoko (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650395)

So... At this point, QTopia runs on several phones while OpenMoko only runs on the one they designed. I have to say, I've been planning to buy a neo9173 for a while now, but I'm starting to seriously thinking about re-flashing it with QTopia or just buying a green phone with QTopia. In terms of how many apps will be ported to it, I think QTopia already has a huge advantage since it works on multiple phones already.

As I stated in the other news topic, I want a phone that has Skype and will let me answer with Skype or via cell tower when both ring at once. I use Grand Central to ring both numbers at the same time, and I'd rather have just a single phone to do it with. I think QTopia is likely to offer that more quickly than OpenMoko.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651855)

It's Qtopia, not QTopia. It's also Qt not QT. (and Qt is pronounced "cute" by the Trolls, just fyi)

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651959)

(and Qt is pronounced "cute" by the Trolls, just fyi)

A few months ago, one of the TrollTech's developers came and gave a presentation on Qt to several of the developers at my workplace. Interestingly, apparently the "cute" pronunciation is mostly an invention of their marketing people -- many of their own developers still say "Q T".

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

UngodAus (198713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20661703)

It's a personal choice thing. Mostly us trolls say cute (once we've been indoctrinated correctly :))

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20690243)

Interestingly, apparently the "cute" pronunciation is mostly an invention of their marketing people -- many of their own developers still say "Q T".

So their marketers call Qt "cute", while the developers call it "cutie"?

(Hey, someone had to say it!)

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (2, Interesting)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651947)

OpenMoko runs on other phones already. They designed it to run on anything the user wants it to run on.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652101)

Oh, name a few?

Or perhaps you actually meant that it COULD be ported, should anyone take the time and effort. That's quite a bit different from running on other phones.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652759)

Well, despite the fact that OpenMoko is using OpenEmbedded which is designed to run on everything it can (Zaurus, Compaq, etc.). I remember reading about people who have put OpenMoko on their phones. Its not selling on any other phones at the moment. And most of the work is going into the FIC Neo 1973, but the OpenMoko platform is a platform designed to be run on other phones. I lurk in the #openmoko IRC channel, and I can't find specific instances of other people using it at the moment. So, I guess I'll have to retract the statement that it is being used in other phones. But they designed the daemons and everything to be portable.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (2, Informative)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653007)

And a little bit of research is a little different to posting to Slashdot, isn't it?

FWIW http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Supported_Hardware [openmoko.org] . Of course, on any platform, it's clearly WIP.

In any case, the Greenphone is way too expensive to purchase for personal use:

http://trolltech.com/products/qtopia/greenphone/greenphone_pricing [trolltech.com] ($695)

The user version of the Neo will be around $450 or so - still pricey - but I might be able to justify it. I'm still considering one of the iPhone clones (Cect P168 et al at $160 or so), despite some of their nastiness (including being nothing to do with Linux). Either way, I'd only make $5 of calls per month.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652015)

Why Skype? You're buying an opensource phone, you want choice when it comes to who delivers you calls to you, yet you choose to use a closed source VOIP provider?
Seems kind of strange to me. I can understand what you want, I want functionality like that, but I want it useing standard open SIP. Otherwise your just trading one lock-in for the other.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652273)

Because I have, and use, a Skype account.

You know of some cheap service with unlimited calling via a SIP phone? Preferably one that works with clients on all major OSs including Linux, Windows, and OSX?

Or were you just saying that only open source zealots should support open source, and they would never buy a commercial product?

I only care what fulfills my needs, and I'm willing to pay to get it.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20653001)

Take a look at BroadVoice. I've been toying around with getting a VoIP service as a backup for my cell phone, and they look good. They charge $20/month for unlimited calls to 19 countries, and they give you full SIP access. They'll give you the IP of any server you need and the SIP username/password.

They even advertise their Bring Your Own Device service as a selling point.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (2, Informative)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654197)

1 seconds of google usage brought me a list [voipproviderslist.com] of 670 voip provider in the USA. There are plenty (if not most) of Voip providers which are cheaper then skype. There is also is a far wider variety of hard and software which can be used with SIP, you can even set up your own PBX [wikipedia.org] if you like.
There really is no good reason to use a totally closed Voip protocol over SIP. There are a whole lot of reasons not to promote closed communication protocols. I don't even care if you choose to use closed source software, but for crying out loud, use a standard, open and portable protocol for you Voip communication.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655921)

I realize that, however, I don't have all day to sort through that many and try to find one that will allow me unlimited calls to the US and Canada for under $9/mo, and unlimited net calls for free. The first one I looked at is $15/mo for 500 calls max or $30/mo unlimited. That's not even close.

By the way, did you notice that site uses Skype for their tech support calls? They obviously don't find SIP to be cheaper.

I could indeed set up my own Asterisk system (I have in fact) but I don't feel like keeping a 'server' around the house any more. It probably eats up $9/mo in electricity, anyhow.

So yeah, apparently there IS good reason. I'm all for using open standards whenever it makes sense. It just doesn't always.

SIP providers and clients (1)

slash.duncan (1103465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655469)

There are standard SIP clients for all the major OSs. It's a standard, after all. There are also standard SIP hardware devices, from ATAs (analog telephone adaptors) in both end device and router versions, to Ethernet based SIPPhones (including PoE, power over Ethernet, so single cord) to cordless wifi devices, to computer card phone adaptors, available from several different manufacturers and multiple vendors. There are also both open (Asterisk) and proprietary (Cisco, among others) VoIP/PBX implementations as complicated and featureful as you care to get.

I recently switched to 100% VoIP here (I can't justify the additional cost for cell service, so this was from standard telco land-line). One of my big requirements was everything I got was SIP-standard, no-lockin. The going (US) rate is ~$25-30/mo including all taxes/fees, or prepay a year for $199 plus fees (which is what I did), which works out to $16.58/mo, and my fees are $2.50/mo, so I'm paying <$20/mo total, by prepaying. That includes at least US/48 as if it were "local", plus incoming. The differentiation between providers is that some provide up to 25-nation "local" calling for that, while others include a few extra features -- altho all the "standard" features the telcos like to charge extra for, caller-id, voice-mail, etc, are included at no additional cost by nearly all providers. Since all the folks I call are in the US, I chose the extra features, including such things as selective announcement voice mail (so my friends get a different greeting than ordinary callers, can be handy at times) and scheduled automated wakeup/reminder (b-day, anniversary, etc) calls -- no additional cost! =8^)

If you do mostly net calling, as I think with Skype, you can get that for free. If you need incoming phone only, that's available with a local number in many cities in the US from $2/mo, if you shop around. Outgoing only, available from $10-ish/mo. unlimited or 4 cents a call (NOT per minute, per call) or a penny a minute, both without monthly fees, just usage. (The 4 cents a call thing is to the US, but provided by a company in Norway, Vyke.com... I couldn't get my US credit cards to work with it, unfortunately.) There's also 500-ish minute accounts and the like available, and 35-nation, regional, and nearly worldwide "local" calling plans, for those that need them. "Unlimited" does in the cases I've been talking about refer to "residential" service, but there's also commercial service, without residential use restrictions, available, from $30/mo or so, and fully unlimited, wholesale resale and phone bank and etc services allowed, at per minute rates, of course depending on provider.

I went with a two-line ATA/router, which plugs in between my cable modem and my network, and can handle two separate SIP based phone accounts. The two phone lines (two separate jacks, two separately controlled SIP accounts) plug into it pretty much as they'd otherwise plug into the telco NID at the demarc point. The adapter cost $57 -- again, I elected to buy my own unlocked SIP standard based equipment, for additional flexibility and no lockin. I bought a grandstream, but there are other brands with a variety of features and at a variety of costs. Mine is about the size of a cigarette pack -- which surprised me as I was expecting something about three times that size.

** I did have to go to the net to buy it, as everything the local brick and mortar stores seemed to offer was locked to one provider or another, generally Vonage, Lingo, or Skype (the latter proprietary not standard SIP of course). However, going local rates for the locked versions was about double what I paid ($57 as mentioned) for my Grandstream on the net, so it was well worth it.

Since I no longer have a regular land-line, I bought a (separate, again standard/ordinary) UPS to power my ATA, cable modem, and cordless phones, so I have phone service even when the power goes out, as long as the cable internet stays up (and it should be fairly reliable as they run their own phone service in competition with the telco, too, and have battery backups for it).

Re:SIP providers and clients (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655963)

Thanks for the info, but Skype is cheaper. I pay $9/mo for unlimited in and out to real phone numbers (in the US and Canada) and of course internet contacts are free to anywhere.

For $150, I could get a phone that'll work anywhere I have a wifi connection. That's just work and home, but it's not intended to replace my cell, just to supplement it. At the moment I'm just using my n800 for Skype, though... It wasn't doing much else anyhow.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20657521)

It is called Asterisk. The GPLed PBX. Anyone can call in via standard SIP protocol. No problems. Not even a need for any central anything, if you desire. If you want, you can connect it to SIP termination or origination providers so you can connect it to PSTN. Lost of those around. Sorry, only one Skype. That goes down, and have nothing.

I use SIP Asterisk together with Grandstream phones. Yes, proprietary SIP phones. At least if Grandstream goes out of business, I can continue to use the phone with ANY SIP provider or asterisk. Can you say the same with your Skype phone?

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20659595)

Can you say that your way costs $9/mo or less? A PSTN line here would be $25/mo minimum. Setting up a PC here to run 24/7 and take care of my Asterisk would cost at least $9/mo in power.

So on the theory that Skype might die some day, I'm supposed to pay $25+/mo extra? That'd buy the Skype phone in 6 months. If they died in 6 months (which I seriously doubt) I could throw the phone away and be no worse off.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20657633)

People don't know what they are doing. Skype is more of a lock-in than a proprietary SIP phone (wired or wireless).

An open-source Skype phone is useless unless one can find reliable SIP software for it. On the other hand, a proprietary phone (eg. Grandstream) can be connected to a free PBX -- full control of the service. It is NOT the free software that is important here. It is the free PROTOCOL that is important.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652751)

I know OpenMoko "runs" on the neo1973, and I assume QTopia "runs" on the Greenphone and whatever else, but are either of them actually usable to make calls yet, in the same way my current proprietary cellphone is?

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652931)

Last I heard on the OpenMoko/neo1973, it was usable but unstable, since only the developer phones are out yet. It was not recommended for general use.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20656183)

Of course, Qtopia has been around for a long time. From wikipedia: As of 2006, there were 11 different models of mobile phone, and 30 other devices, with several million devices running this software.

How do we choose providers on an open cellphone? (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654069)

Can someone explain how I, the cell phone user, would choose a cell phone service provider myself? Suppose I get some sort of open phone that runs either OpenMoko or QtPhones-a-lot or something. Is there a C library that includes the function dial_this(int phonenum)? Do I stick a SIM card in and just do what I want, treating the open phone like a computer and the SIM card like a modem?

For reference: I bought an unlocked Treo 650 (none of the more advanced models were not available unlocked). Treos are offered by Nextel/Sprint and Verizon, but I use T-mobile, which doesn't offer Treos. So I simply phoned T-mobile and said, "I have a Treo. Do you want me to still be your customer, or do you want me to switch to a different network?" Of course they were willing to provide service, and since it was just a matter of taking my SIM card from my old phone to the Treo, everything was straightforward. I've been happily using their voice and data service since.

I hope that the new open phone would work the same way. I probably would not be able to handle a for-developers alpha-version of the phone, but if I got my hands on a beta-version with a fledgling interface to dial out, compile programs and download files, I'd probably be willing to buy it, and then just upgrade the software as more came out.

Re:How do we choose providers on an open cellphone (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655623)

Assuming the phone uses the same network type, it's as simple as just sticking your sim card in. For instance, I bought a Cingular phone a while back that had been unlocked, and I just use it on my T-Mobile account with my sim card. I didn't call them or anything. They don't actually care.

In fact, in europe, locking a phone to a provider is illegal. The last phone I bought was the european version so I didn't have to bother unlocking it. It works just find in the US.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

Legodude522 (847797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655569)

QTopia already has tons of apps. It runs on the Sharp Zaurus.

Re:QTopia vs OpenMoko (1)

YoungSaint (1158131) | more than 6 years ago | (#20660475)

So... At this point, QTopia runs on several phones while OpenMoko only runs on the one they designed.
ummm... not quite... http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Supported_Hardware/ [openmoko.org] the end user phone isn't even out yet, and there are still other phones it work (sorta) on.

Qt vs GTK+ (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664357)

OpenMoko is based on GTK+.

Qtopia is (obviously) based on Qt.

I like KDE and Qt. I don't like GNOME and GTK+. So, other considerations aside, I already want to like Qtopia.

(I'll be the first to admit that not all of the above are based on rational thoughts.)

Re:Qt vs GTK+ (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665321)

While I love KDE, GTK is 'free'er and I have to respect that. If I had to pick a graphics toolkit for commercial use, it wouldn't be Qt. If I wanted to make a commercial app for the Greenphone and Qtopia, I'd have to pay trolltech. If I wanted to make it for OpenMoko, I only have to give back any upgrades I make to GTK.

Since I'm both a user and developer, I can see the good in both toolkits... It's actually an ugly decision. I would like to eventually write some commercial games that use the accelerometers in the neo1973, so OpenMoko would be my choice.

Of course, I'm saying this without having actually used either system... Using the toolkit is no gaurantee you'll end up with a good, usable interface. I'll probably grab the 'emulators' for them and check them out before I decide.

Re:Qt vs GTK+ (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20669225)

While I love KDE, GTK is 'free'er and I have to respect that. If I had to pick a graphics toolkit for commercial use, it wouldn't be Qt.

If it was a one-man killer app kind of project, yeah, I'd go for LGPL.

If it was open, I'd probably use Qt. Conversely, if it was a large, commercial project, I'd probably use Qt, just to have the commercial support from Trolltech, and also because I figure the more people actually pay for Qt, the more they can afford to improve it, proprietary and open versions.

GTK+ is NOT more free than Qt (1)

Santana (103744) | more than 6 years ago | (#20744955)

Qt Open Source Edition is licensed under the GPL from a long time ago. http://troll.no/products/qt/licenses/licensing/opensource [troll.no]

Re:GTK+ is NOT more free than Qt (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20745391)

Only for open source apps that are NOT on Windows. If you were working on Windows, you couldn't use the open source Qt. This is a new development with Qt4.

I don't consider 'non-commercial' licenses to be 'free' anyhow. You have to purchase a commercial license to use Qt commercially, when most GPL'd software can be used commercially if you abide byt he GPL.

Re:GTK+ is NOT more free than Qt (1)

Santana (103744) | more than 6 years ago | (#20745737)

As you already said, you don't have to buy a Qt commercial license to develop Qt commercial software, if you abide by the GPL (you have to make your changes available when distributing), which is a good thing, isn't it? There is your freedom.

I'm sure we agree that if your interest is on developing commercial closed source software then you don't care about freedom (FSF definition). Not wanting to pay for developing Qt closed source software speaks more about a cheap person than a person caring about freedom.

Being said that, I'm not a GPL fan. I use BSD for my projects.

GPLv2 (3, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650495)

For those too lazy to go read the press release, it's GPLv2, not GPLv3.

Re:GPLv2 (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654761)

And that's a bad thing? GPLv2 may not be as militant, but it's served us quite nicely for years now. I'd think many engineers would appreciate the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" mentality many groups are approaching GPLv3 with.

Re:GPLv2 (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655197)

Besides, on embedded devices like phones, you're likely to run across the occasional patent. There is a lot of industry confusion about the GPLv3 and a lot of companies are deliberately avoiding it.

Re:GPLv2 (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20702785)

No, actually, I think it's a very good thing. I just wanted to point it out, since it's an important distinction. There is no longer "GPL-ed" code-- all code is either GPLv2, GPLv3, or both, all of which have extremely different implications and ideologies (despite what the FSF claims).

Re:GPLv2 (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20702863)

I definitely agree, and this looks like one of the situations where GPLv3 may be the more appropriate license.

This article is an obvious troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650521)

A company named "TrollTech" - Whatever! - I'm not falling for user submitted trolling on Slashdot!

totally redundant (-1, Troll)

jimboindeutchland (1125659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650607)

Holy crap, I just looked at where Trolltech are in Munich and realised I live just down the street from these doodz!

Re:totally redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20650765)

That is worrying news. But fear not, Angela Merkel will be making a statement later and President Bush is flying out to offer his support. I'm sure I speak for all slashdotters when I say my heart goes out to you and I hope that your Trolltech-adjacency crisis will soon be resolved.

I'm curious... (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651079)

...if any open source developers will start making Open Hardware phones. With the rise of the cell phone as a complete multimedia platform (a wave to Apple in particular here), the market is ripe for sophisticated embedded hardware of the type that OSS developers have been toying with [opencores.org] for some time now.

Obviously, the biggest hurdle is FCC regulations. You can't actually install and run the radio without an FCC license and/or a shielded area to test radio communications from. I don't know what's involved in being licensed for public airwaves (especially for development purposes), but even finding a mini-tower to install in your "Faraday garage" that you're sure properly emulates a true cell tower could be difficult.

Hmm... unless someone OSSed that first? An OSS cell network? (Yeah, right.) ;-)

Re:I'm curious... (3, Informative)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651767)

hmm. actually, the device the article is about - Neo1973 - is pretty much open.
http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo1973_Hardware [openmoko.org]

few things are closed for quite valid reasons, but hopefully with time this will have a chance to improve.

Schematics? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664441)

I haven't actually read TFA, but it seems that while there are open source drivers for everything, and probably open specs for everything, I'm not sure that you can actually plug it into a chip fab and make your own just yet.

I also remember the OpenMoko guys actually refusing to support certain features because they couldn't obtain an open driver for them.

Re:Schematics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664523)

Even if you could "plug it into a chip fab", you're talking tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup costs for an ASIC. That makes little sense.

It's the whole point. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20669143)

Perhaps you've forgotten, but this comment [slashdot.org] was referring to this project [opencores.org] , whose whole point is exactly what I was talking about. They tend to be a bit more programmable, I'd imagine, so they don't have to have as many hardware designs (and so they can re-use existing hardware).

But you can take your objections up with them -- I was only pointing out that saying we have open drivers is not answering the original question here, which was whether the OpenCores stuff would be used.

Re:I'm curious... (1)

Mulder3 (867389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652257)

Whats the problem with the FCC? I dont see any problem... I dont live in US... Why americans seem to think that the whole world is US?

Re:I'm curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20654875)

Wake me up when they'll make open source drivers for gprs modules then.

How many years old is the gprs tech? yet noone released drivers for it.
Instead, every company that wants to make mobile phones has to buy those chips.
shure, you know how to comunicate, but that does not mean that that thing does not have a firmmware.

Re:I'm curious... (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655023)

Well, your best bet if you are putting together your own cell phone design would be to grab one of those GM862 GSM modules they have at sparkfun.com. You address them via a standard rs232 interface (I think some of them have usb also), and issue standard GSM AT commands for communications; ie. open a serial connection, issue "ATDphone-number" and the cellular connection is then made, routing the audio in/out to seperate audio pins on the module. These audio pins you then connect to the line in / line out on your sound card/chip. Combine this with a pxa270-based Gumstix module, add case/LCD/battery/speaker/mic, and you have about as open of a cell phone as your likely to get (unless you want to fab the processors yourself).

FIC problems (1)

g4sy (694060) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652437)

I bought a FIC Neo1973 for 450$, I'm not here to complain about the phone, I think I got what I paid for. But until they fix its brokenness (GSM850 doesn't work. That's broken) it's going to be a barely useful PDA sitting on my desk. It's not my fault I live in a state where I'd have to drive 4+ hours to get anything other than GSM850. Right now I can see the cell tower from my desk. Unfortunately I have to use my free prepaid phone to talk with anyone. FIC is a great company with great ideas but they are selling a broken product and they don't warn the buyer sufficiently about exactly WHAT is broken and WHAT isn't.

Re:FIC problems (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652877)

If you already have the phone, it meant you bought a phase 1 device, about which the site clearly states (in bold, on the front page) that "currently it is not suitable for users" [openmoko.org] . I'm sorry, but your complaints are entirely your own fault.

mod parent up Re:FIC problems (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655619)

to prevent grandparent's FUD from confusing the issue

Re:FIC problems (1)

g4sy (694060) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663851)

I read the site thanks. I'm a developer and I'm fully capable of using, flashing and otherwise hacking my Neo1973. I'm also capable of developing software. That still doesn't make this piece of hardware any more than an expensive PDA. Whether I'm a developer or a lowly "user" in your mind, this thing doesn't work as a cell phone, doesn't work as advertised and shouldn't make claims to quad-band functionality. If M$ did such a thing, you would be suing them for false advertising.

Oh and for the record, since everyone seems to want to malign me for "FUD", maybe I should clarify that I fully intend to buy the next release of the Neo1973, regardless of how broken or functional the GSM, GPS or WIFI receivers are. One can only throw their weight behind such a company and I will continue to give them all the financial support I can, in the hopes that one day they will produce a GSM850 compatible phone that I can use to develop software for. Still waiting.....

Re:FIC problems (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20667219)

doesn't work as advertised

Okay, you're just an idiot now. How the fuck did you read "this device isn't ready for people to use" and manage to come to the conclusion "hey, this device is ready for me to use?!" I'm sure this will be a revelation to you, and I'll put it in bold despite the fact that you obviously can't fucking see it anyway: THEY DID NOT ADVERTISE THAT THE THING WOULD WORK. PERIOD. AT ALL. LET ALONE AS A PHONE! THAT'S WHAT "NOT SUITABLE FOR USERS" MEANS!

Note that they didn't even say "end users" (i.e., users who are not also developers). They said "users," without qualification, which includes (allegedly) knowledgable people like you who could develop on it, but weren't immediately planning to. The only thing the phase 1 hardware is suitable for is development without any use, and the site makes that abundantly clear to everyone, apparently, except you.

Oh and for the record, since everyone seems to want to malign me for "FUD", maybe I should clarify that I fully intend to buy the next release of the Neo1973, regardless of how broken or functional the GSM, GPS or WIFI receivers are.

Good for you. I'd also like to point out that I am in no way affiliated with the FIC or OpenMoko people, and that just because I think you're a moron doesn't mean they do or that you should retaliate against them for what I said. But still, as a person who intends to be a user (not a developer) of the Neo1973, I knew well enough to wait for phase 2, and you should have too.

Re:FIC problems (1)

g4sy (694060) | more than 6 years ago | (#20668499)

Great good to meet a future (fellow) GTA02 user. I don't see the point in lambasting me for having $450 more in disposable income than you do. (BTW that was just me chirping, don't let it offend you). I read everything before I ordered. I'm not disappointed with the product, I just don't see any reason why the quad-band receiver would have one of those 4 bands disabled on purpose. That's the kind of genius I'm familiar with, only from Palm and Apple.

I'm sure we can agree that we both hope the future versions of the phone will not have features magically and forcefully disabled by the company for no explainable reason (maybe it is explainable but FIC has chosen not to reply to any questions regarding this). As long as I continue to have that hope I can assure you I'll be forking over $450 for ever single reiteration of this phone they produce, just like I did to Palm and Apple and other companies for so many years until I totally lost hope in them.

Re:FIC problems (1)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655009)

As mrchaotica (681592) says the v1 is "currently it is not suitable for users", and I would personally add "and for high level application developers who need functional and stable stacks to work on". This is why I wait for the V2, and perhaps a little more for USB2 & multi touch screen. I have a lot of ideas for this phone/plateform, but I don't want to fight with unstable APIs and to make a stable phone call :) (Actually I don't want to struggle with the telephony part of the phone except from the point of view of integration of my applications and the usability of the phone in low usability situations (like during driving))

Re:FIC problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20658767)

Are you a developer? Did you buy it for developing applications for a future feature-complete version? Did you read this:

WARNING: Developers only!
Please note that the OpenMoko products are not meant for the end user and explicitly marked as Developer preview at this time. Read this wiki article to find more technical details of what you can and cannot expect of these devices.
and clicked on the checkbox where it says "I have been warned!"? What else do you need to tell you this is not a finished product, blinking popups with alarm sirens?

Re:FIC problems (1)

g4sy (694060) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663809)

Feature complete version? I was completely aware of which features it did not yet have: WIFI for instance. I am a developer but unfortunately I only make applications, and I'm NOT a hardware/cell developer. This platform didn't allow me any functionality to test any applications. The claims of the Neo193 wiki are unsubstantiated and further, if you're an expert in such things and are aware of how to enable GSM850, why don't you come on over to the mailing list (I'm a regular participant) and inform all us OpenMoko developers? We're ALL awaiting your input.

Re:FIC problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20660901)

Thank you for buying a developer unit and not developing anything. I only wish you had lost more money.

Trolltech... (1)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653657)

They should be right at home on /. then.

Qtopia is ALMOST there on the Neo (1)

10053r (517050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654517)

Just downloaded and tried out Qtopia (I am one of the lucky few who got a Neo1973 before they ran out of the developer edition). It ALMOST works. It can make and receive calls seamlessly, and does power management. In this respect, they are way out in front of OpenMoko (the system developed for the Neo by FIC). However, once in one of those calls, sound doesn't work. Any attempt to set the volume above 0 fails. Also, Qtopia was developed originally for the greenphone, which has a keypad. The Neo uses a large touchscreen instead. Since Qtopia assumes that there is a keypad, they don't bother to offer a software number pad in anything other than the phone application which makes entering numbers (in say, one's contacts) kind of difficult. It seems like these issues are probably only a couple hours of work for the right developer, but right now, neither platform is viable for the end user. Qtopia is definitely closer, but the competition will only benefit the end user. This is why open devices are great.

Re:Qtopia is ALMOST there on the Neo (1)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20661035)

Qtopia does not assume there is a keypad, nor was Qtopia originally developed for the Greenphone.

To get the numbers, sybmpls or caps in the keyboard, slide your finger up or down on the right or left hand edge of the software keyboard.

#irC.trOlltalk.com (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20654639)

writing on the wall (-1, Flamebait)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655755)

I think Troll Tech is seeing the writing on the wall: Gtk+ and X11 are making big inroads on mobile Linux.

Let's not fall for Troll Tech's trap: while I don't care much either way what Troll Tech does on the desktop, since it doesn't prevent me from using other toolkits, Qt on cellphones is evil because it effectively excludes use of all other toolkits. Furthermore, it forces people to use their mobile environment which (having suffered through on several devices) is not very good in my opinion.

Troll Tech claims that they developed the embedded version of Qt because X11 is supposedly too heavy-weight for cell phones. That's, of course, completely bogus: X11 runs great on cell phones and Gtk+/X11 requires less resources and is faster than Qt/Embedded. And that really shouldn't surprise anybody given that X11 was originally developed for systems with 1/1000th the amount of memory and CPU power of today's machines.

So, please stop Qt/Embedded on cell phones; you can always use Qt/X11 and have your applications live happily side-by-side with other X11-based toolkits.

Re:writing on the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20656641)

Except having a light weight windowing system made for a framebuffer allows Qtopia to do things like window composition effects without fancy hradware and the X Composite Extension.

Re:writing on the wall (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20662063)

Except having a light weight windowing system

There is nothing "light weight" about Qt/Embedded.

made for a framebuffer

It's not really "made for a framebuffer", it's an adaptation of a desktop toolkit.

allows Qtopia to do things like window composition effects without fancy hradware

So does X11.

and the X Composite Extension.

Indeed. And that again illustrates how Qt is designed: as a big, monolithic C++ library.

X11's protocol and extension architecture is a good thing, and it's a major deficiency that Qt isn't designed like that.

Re:writing on the wall (1)

UngodAus (198713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20689749)

It's not really "made for a framebuffer", it's an adaptation of a desktop toolkit.
Actually, with Arthur (the new rendering engine in qt4), it's not adapted, Arthur renders to engines. We have a framebuffer engine, so this is incorrect.

So does X11.
So well, that we have to have our engine handle compositing most of the time. Again partially incorrect.

Indeed. And that again illustrates how Qt is designed: as a big, monolithic C++ library.
Qt is now divided up into sub libraries for the different functional areas. So again, incorrect.

X11's protocol and extension architecture is a good thing, and it's a major deficiency that Qt isn't designed like that.
See my point above about arthur. Arthur can use a plugin to a pre-compiled system allow you to render to an svg or png, which can then be supplied to say a web server. The plugin system in qt (and qtopia by extension) is a full blown first class system. Arthurs' engine system, is also a complete system (with many examples, directx, gdi, framebuffer, opengl, carbon, and soon cocoa). So, again incorrect.

Please, get your facts straight first, as this dicussion hasn't even gotten out of the graphics library yet.

Re:writing on the wall (1)

said_captain_said_wo (889009) | more than 6 years ago | (#20662195)

So, how difficult is cross building X11 and Gtk+?

KDE fanboys (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663219)

I see the Troll Tech fanboys are out in full force again, suppressing anything that might be critical of their favorite company.

Well, yet more proof that Qt developers are realizing the technical and legal problems with their favorite platform.

Re:KDE fanboys (1)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20674371)

ok, just what are the technical and legal problems with Qt? You surely must have a problem with the GPL.
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